PHOTOS: Silver Lyan’s Opening Celebration

Silver Lyan partner and Bar Operator Iain Griffiths, Global Bar Director Alex Lawrence, and owner Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr. Lyan) share a toast at the start of the grand opening.
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Party photographer Dan Swartz’s diary of bashes, benefits, and galas.

Silver Lyan, the first stateside bar from Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr. Lyan), hosted a grand opening reception on Thursday night for a hundred or so lucky guests, which ran far past its stated official end time.

An eclectic crowd of Washingtonians was joined by a handful of globetrotting friends from New York, London, and beyond for the occasion, which provided an early preview of the much talked about subterranean cocktail bar’s menu (it opens to the general public tonight).

Ryan’s former London establishment, Dandelyan, was voted “World’s Best Bar” in 2018, so the expectation level leading-up to the party was high. But the team behind Silver Lyan, as well as the Riggs Hotel in which the bar resides, more the rose to the occasion. A half dozen of the bar’s cocktails were available for sampling, in addition to tasty passed bites, such as caviar and cucumber, pork summer rolls and everything bagel skewers.

Before passing the mic to DJ Mick, who basically transformed the main bar area into a de facto dance floor, Mr. Lyan raised a glass and delivered a toast to Washington.

“We’re so excited about the launch of Silver Lyan,” said Chetiyawardana. “It’s our first opportunity to explore a different landscape, and we’re so proud we get to use DC as a muse! I’m hoping it can act as a compliment to the incredibly dynamic scene of food and drink in the city and showcase the wonderful stories of the people and places here to the rest of the world, whilst creating a fun and welcoming place for those in the city.”

We’ll drink to that.

After the hotel lobby, it’s the party! The entrance to Silver Lyan is located underground, just off of the Riggs Washington DC hotel lobby’s grand staircase.
Lore Group CEO Billy Skelli-Cohen, Grace Cutts, and Kenzie Fisher.
National Portrait Gallery Head of Communications Concetta Duncan and Jacu Strauss, Creative Director and founder of Lore Group.
Azam Mirza, Kingsley Model + Talent Management Joy Kingsley-Ibeh, and Cvent founding member Bharet Malhotra.
Bartenders staffed three makeshift stations, in addition to the main bar, for the party–each crafting one or more cutting-edge cocktails for guests.
MGM National Harbor Director of Communications Malik Husser and Jenni Izumi.
Guests were eager to score one of the coveted spots next to the bar where they could watch their cocktails being made up-close.
Washington National Opera trustee Kristen Lund and artist Sheldon Scott.
Lore Group’s Emilie Furda, Dieter Schmitz, and Alex Wolf.
Dykema’s federal government relations team leader James Brandell and National Governors Association Director of Communications Eric Wohlschleger.
Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum’s Kate Gibbs and Comcast SVP of Government Communications Sena Fitzmaurice.
The Lore Group and Silver Lyan team celebrate with a late night toast.
Design Army co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Pum Lefebure and Timothy Lowery, General Manager of the CityCenterDC project.
Creative Theory Agency co-founder and CEO Tamon George and Zaria George.
The Silver Lyan team.
The cocktails at Silver Lyan are known for sometimes featuring unexpected playful compositions, such as “fish sauce sherbet”, “bottled beeswax” or “raspberry dust”.
Silver Lyan is the first stateside bar from Ryan Chetiyawardana, whose former London establishment, Dandelyan, was voted “World’s Best Bar” in 2018.